Quick! Bring another stick with which to pummel Bush!

Instapundit nails it:


Katrina taught the media that if they all swarmed Bush at once they could do harm even if — as turned out to be the case — much of what they reported was outright false. I’ve noticed a lot more of that since. The Bush Administration is quite capable of making its own trouble with PR — see the ports issue, for example — but it’s also quite clear that the media is doing this sort of thing for entirely partisan reasons.
[...]
The news is that the port-deal publicity is dying down, Iraq’s not in a civil war, and we need something to fill the headlines with anti-Bush stuff.

Oh, and Ed Morrissey spells out how the press has lied and distorted the story. And no one seems to be mentioning that Gov. Blanco told President Bush that THE LEVEES WERE SAFE AND INTACT!

This is not really new, though. The press discovered way back during the Clinton administration that if they put fake stuff out there, even if they correct it a few days later, the first impression is the one that remains. But they’ve simply stepped it up. I mean…and they’re being so OBVIOUS about it. There is nothing discreet or deft in their unending mob-attack on the president. When one weapon gives out, they just pick up another and keep going.

Stupid. People will tire of this. Over-pummel the president and the country will rebel. America loves underdogs.

And I’m wondering if we bloggers shouldn’t stop responding to these mediaswarm stories seriously – giving them gravity, respectability and a touch of credibility – and simply begin mocking them as soundly and cruelly as we can.

Dr. Sanity sounds utterly spent: I really think I need a break from the insanity of the left’s unrelenting and demented attacks on President Bush.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. The press and the left want his absolute destruction. Nothing less will do. If they can destroy him and discredit him…well, to be honest, I think it’s the only way the Democrats can get back into power, thru despiriting the whole country in the manner in which it was despirited in 1976.

It’s harder these days, thanks to blogs, etc…so…they simply are at it non-stop.

Neo-Neocon has ripe thoughts about this

It seems to have two interrelated parts. The first is to have a role in bringing down a detested President–and in this, there is precedent. Apparently, the Times is aching to relive its dragon-slayer days (Richard Nixon being the original dragon): the publication of the Pentagon Papers, when the Supreme Court upheld the Time’s right to do so despite government claims of national security threats.
[...]
But I mentioned that the “neocons are motivated by fear” accusation has a second (although absolutely related) agenda, and that is fear of the consequences of overreaching by the executive branch of the government. Many conservatives have this fear, too (and libertarians are extraordinarily sensitive to it). But it’s a question of at what point each group draws the line between acceptable intrusions and unacceptable ones, and what they might consider justification for those intrusions. National security is far more likely to be considered a justification by conservatives than by liberals or leftists, who have a history of seeming to actively downplay such concerns.

The legacy of Vietnam is that the left has a lingering mindset that considers national security concerns to almost always be mere excuses for government spying. This is the sort of approach that led to the famous CIA/FBI firewall (I discuss the firewall’s development here)). The left, and many liberals, seem to feel that the raising of security issues in these situations is almost always bogus–a sort of screen, used by a proto-totalitarian government to cover its own misuse of power, with the goal of getting away with domestic spying on its enemies, and the further consolidation of its own power.

If this is the conception, then national security concerns must be downplayed in almost all cases, and the role of fear as motivation for those concerns exaggerated instead.

It’s a long piece – you’ll want to read it all.

Varifrank points out that with all of this poison from the press Bush is still winning what’s important. Senate Approves Patriot Act Renewal: 89-10

Confederate Yankee gives up what he’s calling THE BIG TRUTH.

Alexandra chimes in on Gov. Blanco and gives us a neat graphic, to boot.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Joseph

    Give me a break, Anchoress! Nobody is going to destroy George W. Bush. Republicans have a solid congressional majority and the absolute best case for Democrats in 2006 will be recapturing one house of Congress, and that only by the thinnest of margins. No more.
    /
    The President can continue to make himself a law unto himself for the duration of his presidency, and no one will seriously bring him to book.
    /
    He will not accomplish much with it, of course. Things actually get accomplished in this country only through compromise and negotiation, not by asserting that Presidential power is beyond the law.
    /
    George truly has no notion of what these words mean, even within his own party, and in such matters where, long ago, the opposite party actually tried to negotiate with him, he blithely screwed them over. They won’t be back.
    /
    Also, the “public” is not going to change its opinion of George much one way or the other, no matter what happens. Close analysis of the professional polling being done makes it very clear that the only real movement in his poll numbers since Katrina has been among members of his own party. And this is where his support is now slowly eroding with patent political foolishness on his part like the Dubai business.
    /
    The only place George will lose any more support is among members of his own party. He has virtually no support to lose from anybody else.
    /
    The only way this will significantly change is if something George now does is a roaring, unqualified, and unequivocally large success. There is now very little on the horizon which could ever become so.
    /
    George will accomplish little or nothing during the rest of his term, and I confidently expect him to be an immense liability in the 2006 Congressional elections. But even if he isn’t, and Republican losses are minimized, he will not accomplish much more.
    /
    No President since Lyndon Johnson has had a better hand of political cards to play and none have played them so ineffectively.
    /
    And this is not because the media has stoped him or because Democrats have stopped him. It is principally because he will not negotiate and compromise and he insists on ruling above the law rather than governing within it.

  • newton

    OK, can I say it now?

    Joseph, now I’m convinced. You’re full of King-Ranch,St. Gertrudis-pure-bred-cow-manure. (You’ll have to excuse me, I was at the King Ranch today.)

    Look, it has been obvious that the media has been trying its best to destroy this president from the start. I mean, from the moment there was even the possibility that he was ever going to get the keys to the White House. He’s a big target to shoot, so to speak, plus he’s no favorite of theirs, plus he couldn’t care less about what they think – a characteristic of this man which I definitely consider a virtue in and of itself.

    I’ve seen the very same pattern that The Anchoress has documented here, now and in the past. That’s why my husband and I have cancelled or run out subscriptions, stopped watching news on TV, and even use the newspaper that we get for free due to airline miles to better use, such as kitty toys and South TX bonfire-starters. Those people are worth little credibility: they hate the man that much that they don’t care if they have to sign a blood contract with Mephisto.

    I believe someone once called the liberal media “Satan’s Little Helpers.” He might be right…

  • http://none Darrell

    But what do you really think, Joe? Can I send you some literature about contributing to the Republican Party?

  • Joseph

    Well, newton, whatever media bias there may be [and I am perfectly willing to concede that it may be considerable], it doesn’t alter the fact that George is the first Republican President in my lifetime to have majorities in both houses of Congress, to have all the members of his own party in Congress completely under his thumb, to have won two terms, and to be able to exercise Presidential power untrammeled even by the law itself.
    /
    He also had the highest poll ratings for any President, ever, immediately after the fall of the Taliban.
    /
    What more did he need to accomplish anything?
    /
    And how much has he really accomplished?
    /
    Try it yourself. Try to make a list of the things he has genuinely accomplished that are likely to outlast his term in office.
    /
    Lyndon Johnson left this country’s domestic life completely transformed. Most people I encounter born after 1960 simply do not understand how utterly different this country was before 1964.
    /
    We are still living in the social welfare state which Johnson created. Determined and systematic political Conservatives have frayed it some around the edges, but it still largely exists intact.
    /
    George Bush’s accomplishments: Medicare Part D? No Child Left Behind? The Patriot Act? The Bankruptcy Bill? An unfinished war in Iraq and another one in Afghanistan? The successful appointment of two judges to the Supreme Court? A “balanced budget”?
    A “reduction of government”? A resolution to the illegal immigrant problem?
    /
    However biased newspapers and news channels may be, they can’t operate by voodoo to stop anyone with so many political advantages as George has had.
    /
    He and his people are simply inept. They can win elections, but they can’t intellegently exercise the power it brings them, to do anything succesfully.
    /
    No politician of the 20th century, Republican or Democratic, would ever have missed the potential for the Dubai deal to blow up in his face.
    /
    Whatever the abstract merits of the deal, it was a major political accident waiting to happen: “Turn our ports over to the AAA-rabs?!! Have you lost your mind???”
    Really.
    /
    Now I suspect, like the Anchoress, you and Darrell are in constant expectation of “the public” or the “real America” to someday finally rise up, overwhelm the New York Times and all the rest of us, and sweep away “the Left” into the dustpan of History.
    /
    But these are the real facts: For all the blandishments of Karl Rove; for all the smearing of John Kerry’s war service; for all the waving of the overwhelming threat to our shores in tandem with the red, white, and blue of our flag; and for all the rest of it, fifty percent of this country still voted against Geroge Bush.
    /
    The core of people–such as the Anchoress, Darrell, and yourself–who are “social conservatives” is no larger than 35% of the public in the country as a whole, and no larger than 45% of the public even in the reddest of Red States.
    /
    That 35% now constitutes the bulk of the continued support for the Bush Presidency.
    /
    Frankly, you have had a genuine, though small, political advantage in this country since 1980, but it has not come from your numbers. It has come from your unwavering political solidarity and consistency of issue identification.
    /
    But that is only enough to win elections. It is not enough to accomplish much after you win them.
    /
    Such accomplishment requires compromise and inclusion, rather than ideological purity and the absolute repudiation of input from those who don’t display it.
    /
    That’s how America works. Really.

  • fzavis

    A

    As a resident of LA, I get a lot of info from the “grapevine” so I know what REALLY happened.

    And it’s pretty sad – as outlined in March 2 Powerline – that the best coverage of Katrina was not from AP – but from Popular Mechanics.

    Do I need to say more?

  • smmtheory

    Joseph,
    What has President Bush done to, as you put it… “exercise Presidential power untrammeled even by the law itself?” You are yourself showing signs of BDS, so I would really like to know what you are blathering on about since I have not seen anything of the sort you have labeled “make himself a law unto himself.”

  • newton

    I concur with smmtheory. Joseph, you have made yourself a law unto yourself. You need to consult the nearest psychoterapist for your acute case of BDS.

    And once you feel better, please come back to us.

  • newton

    And LBJ managed to enslave an entire segment of the American population… to welfare and the Democratic Party.

    Is that an LBJ “accomplishment” for you, Joseph?

    If anything, Bush is trying the best way possible to end the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

  • http://none Darrell

    Too bad, Joe, the only people agreeing with you about the legality of Bush’s actions are those that defended the very same actions by previous administrations. At the cost of any credibility they had left. And “Left” is the operative word. Yes, I do think that some day the “real America” will wake up and rise up and cast out the Left and all the other evil spirits who wander throughout the world seeking the destruction of souls. It’s only a matter of time. And people coming to their senses.

    Oh, I am shocked when I think that Bush ONLY got 50.7% of the vote(62,040,610) to Kerry’s 48.3% (59,028,111), until I recall that Clinton received only 43.0% of the vote in 1992 (44,909,806) to G.H.W.’s 37.4% (39,104,550)— and how that was trumpeted by the impartial media to be the mandate to end all mandates. That’s the problem with facts when you bother to look for them: They can clear away even the best “smoke and mirrors” fog.

    If Bush were Clinton, he’d be taking his daughters on a world tour at the taxpayers’ expense right about now at the same point in his term. Luckily for us, he isn’t. He will do what’s necessary to fulfill the duties he swore to perform until his successor is inaugurated. Even in the face of phony-baloney polls saying that he is less popular than Herpes Types A and B combined.

    What an honor it is to be mentioned in the same breath as the Anchoress! :-) Maybe I can carry her water one day!

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    /
    Such accomplishment requires compromise and inclusion, rather than ideological purity and the absolute repudiation of input from those who don’t display it.
    /
    IIRC, No Child Left Behind was a BIG compromise with the Dems. As was leaving George Tenet in charge of the CIA. And appointing Colin Powell as Sec. of State.
    .
    What about the number of Federal Judges that the Dems refused to confirm? What about the Dems refusal to even DISCUSS Social Security reform?
    .
    Doesn’t compromise work both ways?
    .
    What I miss most is substantive discussion of alternative SOLUTIONS. There’s a reason why Mrs. Clinton’s nickname is “Shrillary.”

  • Joseph

    Oh Dear! I seem to have stepped on quite a few tender corns!
    /
    I repeat, the Bush Administration is politically inept. In January of 2003 they had enough cards in their hand to accomplish virtually every agenda of my good friends here, had they played them with any degree of intelligence.
    /
    Unfortunately, George and the boys made three fatal errors. First, they failed to capture Osama Bin Laden because they did not order our troops into the front of the battle of Tora Bora, and they did nothing to cut off his escape route into Pakistan.
    /
    The escape of Bin Laden was the first major victory in the War on Terror. It wasn’t ours. It demonstrated to every potential terrorist around the globe that it was possible to outwit and evade the United States, and, actually, to do so rather easily.
    /
    Had we captured or killed Bin Laden immediately after kicking the Taliban over like a rotten puffball, we would have appeared invincible, and left the other potential terrorists worldwide completely demoralized. Instead, we gave them great hope. The terror attacks which have occurred since are the result.
    /
    The second of these fatal mistakes was the disbanding of Saddam’s army and the six month neglect of the occupation of Iraq between May and November of 2003. George and the boys virtually solicited the Iraqi insurgency to develop and allowed it to steal most of Saddam’s small arms right out from under American noses.
    /
    Had they really taken control of Iraq and run it properly from the beginning–and they could have easily used Saddam’s army to do it–none of the other bad news, such as failure to find WMD’s, would have mattered a jot. And they would now have the American army available, with forward bases in Bagdhad, to forstall Iranian nuclear ambitions.
    /
    At the moment, they don’t have either of these. They have a mess in Iraq that will not be straightened out until after the Iranians go nuclear.
    /
    The third fatal mistake was immediately after the 2004 election. The issue George chose for the first showdown with his new “political capital” was Social Security. And the way he went about it made defeating him almost too easy.
    /
    If he had had the brains to push his tax cuts first, and really push them intelligently, he would have won the first political battle handily, and probably every subsequent one after that, including Social Security.
    /
    The way he went about trying to win on the Social Security issue was absolutely laughable. He went on the road making speeches in cities across the country!
    /
    Why was this inept? First, nobody is ever allowed into a Bush speech except people who already completely agree with him, so nobody sitting on the fence is going to be persuaded by a speech George makes that he can’t attend.
    /
    All anyone not already convinced that the President can walk on water ever heard about the speech was two paragraphs at the bottom of Page 1 of the local newspaper and 15 seconds of soundbite on the local TV news.
    /
    The content of none of those speeches ever made the national media. And there was every excuse available to the national media not to cover them since they were only targeted to local markets.
    /
    So what does George do to pump his Social Security proposal in the face of a “liberally biased” national media? He gives them genuine reasons not to bother to cover his views! This was stunningly stupid.
    /
    Moreover, he never even bothered to make a major, televised, national speech about it or to be interviewed on national television about it! The only time he said anything about it to the country as a whole was in a single Saturday radio address on April 30, 2005! Hardly what you would call penetrating the American political consciousness, now is it?
    /
    Our campaign spoke to the national audience and we defeated him. And we demonstrated immediately and unequivocally by doing so that his “mandate” from the people was a joke. He simply couldn’t make decent use of the overwhelming advantages that the 2002 and 2004 Republican victories had given him.
    /
    He still hasn’t. I repeat, try it for yourself. Just try to list the things his Presidency has done that will endure after he leaves office.
    /
    My best guess is that there will be only two: deposing Saddam Hussein, and allowing the Iranians to develop a nuclear bomb.

  • smmtheory

    I guess that answers my question about what he’s done to make himself a law unto himself. Sweet. I ask for a legitimate response and get a faceful of BDS talking points. Sweet. I want substance and all I get is smoke and mirrors. Sweet. I do believe they can prescribe medication for what ails you Joseph.

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  • Joseph

    Well, smmtheory, the Anchoress asks us to be civil here, so I won’t comment on you personally. I’ll also presume that you and newton have not heard that I happen to have a mental health condition [bipolar disorder] and that you are not commenting on me personally with your remarks about my psychiatric health.

    If it pleases you, I am perfectly willing to admit that the President asserts that he has legal authority to do what he is doing in matters such as continuing to treat prisoners in ways that violate the McCain anti-torture law, holding Jose Padilla indefinitely without trial [a stance which he has, effectively, though not openly, abandoned, since he hadn't the nerve to put it to a test in the Supreme Court], and to conduct domestic surveilance without reference to the FISA court.

    But I have read little more than the fact that he asserts these things, and not that he personally has provided any sensible justification for the assertions. This boils down to no more than, “It is legal because the President wants it done.”

    I, personally, have rational reasons for thinking otherwise, specifically in the NSA/domestic surveilance matter. They are as follows:

    If the NSA is subject to constitutional standards of probable cause [and they are, by the way, the statute, the case law, and the common law are all perfectly clear on the matter], and the completely secret FISA court is the primary legal venue for the application of such constitutional standards of probable cause, then all the relevant NSA activities fall under the powers of review by that court.

    George Bush ordered domestic activities by the NSA without such court reviews, therefore he has placed himself above the law, whatever totally unsupported assertions he is making about the legality of the matter.

    Now I am going to presume also that you can follow such an argument as I have just made, and are capable of actually trying to refute it rather than waving mere labels at it: “smoke and mirrors”, “BDS talking points”.

    I am also going to presume that you have sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to address my challenge: Try to list Bush’s lasting accomplishments.

    Such presumptions cost me nothing, even when they are proved wrong.

  • smmtheory

    Come on Joseph, don’t hide behind your illness. I don’t. I take my meds daily too. It doesn’t matter to me whether you admit President Bush asserts he has legal authority to do what he has done. What matters is that you cannot prove that he does NOT have legal authority to do what he has done. The Padilla, or should I say Abdullah al-Muhajir case is very thin for you to be relying on since Abdullah has actually been released from military confinement and charged in a court of law, even though the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Bush does indeed have the authority. If Bush were a law unto himself, would that have really happened? And do you seriously expect people to believe that the President himself actually goes down to Gitmo to torture the detainees? That would be stretch even by a fisher’s standards. The problem here is that you still insist in believing that ibn Laden’s troops are US variety common criminals as opposed to troops committed to warfare upon us. This is why the surveillance ordered by Bush is NOT domestic surveillance. It is in fact surveillance of enemy troops and communications to enemy troops that have snuck into this country. Domestic surveillance is carried out by the FBI, not the NSA! They use a totally different frequency, so keep that in mind for when you build your next tin hat.

    As for Bush’s lasting accomplishments: 1)He beat Al Gore in election 2000, and kept the White House out of the clutches of a person that would have topped Jimmy Carter for being the worst President ever.
    2)He didn’t bully congress into ratifying the Kyoto Treaty, which was a thinly disguised EU attempt to bring our economy to its knees.
    3)He beat John Kerry in election 2004, and kept the White House out of the clutches of a second person that would have topped Jimmy Carter for being the worst President ever.
    4)He led the liberation of over 55 million people from the hobnailed boots of their oppressive governments.
    5)He reversed the trend of stocking federal courts with judicial tyrants.
    6)He’s allowed the UN to look like the truly incompetent gang of thugs it really is.

    And when you consider that there are so many other Presidents who have accomplished less, what’s the big deal about accomplishments for a President? Can there be more than a handful of Presidents that are stand outs from the 43 we have had so far? I mean, here you are knocking him for not having repaired Social Security? What about the congress critters that stone-walled him? What about the lout that implemented it in the first place? Don’t they deserve some of your ire too? It was broke when it first started, but nobody has had the cajones to even suggest fixing it until President Bush! You think it’s so easy to be President, why don’t you run?

  • Joseph

    Oh come now! Who would elect me?

  • smmtheory

    That’s what the Democrats said about President Bush too. “Who would elect him?????”

  • newton

    smmtheory – You know how to shoot from the hip. Yeee-haa! :)

  • smmtheory

    Thank you Newton. You do a pretty fair job of it yourself.


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